Andrew J. Duncan journal and orderly book  1861; 1864-1865
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Collection Scope and Content Note

Duncan's journal is a very well written, unfortunately brief account of the earliest operations of the 23rd Ohio, from its mustering in at Camp Chase through the first two months of its service in West Virginia. Even though the passages are generally short, they provide an excellent idea of the difficulties of operating in the mountainous country, and of the problems of poor training and discipline. There is a good second-hand description of the Battle of Rich Mountain, as well as two descriptions of the battlefield a month after the fact, and a long and detailed account of the Battle of Carnifex Ferry. As good as the battle descriptions, though, are his descriptions of the aftermath of Carnifex Ferry, particularly his powerful, grisly description of the expressions on the faces of corpses littering the battlefield.

The orderly book contains 35 routine carbon copies of orders issued late in the war from Headquarters of the Army of West Virginia and the Army of Shenandoah. The book was apparently originally William McKinley's, and many of the orders from Shenandoah are signed by him. Two orders are of some interest: one (in triplicate) dated April 27th, 1865, noting the capture of John Wilkes Booth, and the other, dated April 29th, reporting the surrender of Johnston's army to Sherman.

Duncan included four pencil sketches in his diary, 1) a rough sketch of a "Virginia secesh," 2) a view of Glenville, West Virginia, and sketches of the battlefields at 3) Rich Mountain and 4) Carnifex Ferry indicating troop placements, etc.

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